The Chakos Family
Fr. John and Presvytera Sandy serve as missionary specialists, a role that involves spending part of the year doing direct field work in Guatemala and part of the year in the United States, where they build awareness, speak on missions, and provide consultation. When in Guatemala, Fr. John serves as a teacher and guide for the communities and as the field leader for the missionary team. The first of the long-term missionaries to Guteamala, Fr. John has been serving in the communities since 2011. Pres. Sandy provides work opportunities to the Mayan women by training them in sewing and garment making. She has created Mayan Artisan Studios (MAS) to enable the women to sell vestments and liturgical adornments to customers abroad.
Jesse is serving a two-year term of service in Guatemala where he lives in Nueva Concepcion on the Pacific Coast. Jesse uses his training as a seminary graduate to teach and preach in the parishes in the coastal area. He also provides liturgical guidance to the priests in this area, instructing them in how to perform services like baptism or proskomedia. While in Guatemala, Jesse also is continuing the online ministry that he began during his initial travels to Guatemala in 2012. Jesse created this website (Mayan Orthodoxy) for the joy and inspiration of the Church.
Archimandrite Juvenal Repass
Archimandrite Juvenal Repass is a priest and monastic of the Diocese of Alaska, Orthodox Church in America. He currently is traveling across the USA to raise support so that he can begin his two year term of service. When he arrives in Guatemala, Archimandrite Juvenal will draw on his years as a teacher at both St. Herman's Seminary in Alaska and St. Tikhon's Seminary in Pennsylvania to provide training and guidance in Orthodoxy for the people of Guatemala.
The Jackson Family
The Jackson family currently works in a Spanish speaking parish in Miami, FL. They plan to take trips to work in Guatemala intermittently as they continue serving their parish in Miami at the same time. Fr. Peter Jackson plans to work in the Mayan communities as a translation specialist, hoping to fill the crucial need for liturgical texts in the individual Mayan languages, as well as in Spanish. Matushka Styliana will use her life-long experience in parish ministry to provide support and training for the women in the Mayan communities.
How will you answer Christ's call?
You are part of the team:
While not everyone is called to work directly in Guatemala, everyone is called to participate in Jesus Christ's worldwide mission. To join a short-term mission team or do mission work in other fields, contact the Orthodox Christian Mission Center. If you cannot travel abroad, you still can answer Christ's call by sending a missionary to the field. Answer that call today by making a commitment to support one of the missionaries on a regular, monthly basis. Click here to support the missionaries in Guatemala and Mexico.
"Should I come to Guatemala?"
The Mayan communities have very specific needs that require missionaries with theological training and fluency in Spanish. With those needs in mind, only very few should consider being directly involved in Guatemala and Mexico. But every single person can have a deep impact on this field by supporting the missionaries who are serving the Mayan communities.
[Photos of the Chakos family, Rucker family, and Jackson family are used with the permission of OCMC.]